Thank you Yehuda Fisher and Ashley Groves for taking an NJT suitcase on their recent trip to San Ignacio, Belize! They share with us their beautiful experience connecting with the locals and the country they visited:
“We had a fantastic trip to Belize. I think we enjoyed being inland most. Going through some of the villages and small towns, we felt we really got to know more of the people.
The ‘caretaker’ at the first place we stayed tuned out to be the vice-mayor of the village, president of his son’s school’s PTA, captain of his football (soccer) team, and a tour guide for some of the nearby attractions.
Mostly we met a lot of friendly people who were happy to talk to us and suggest places to go see/things to do
We definitely kept busy. Going inland, we were very happy to have had a 4×4 (that we rented) as many of the roads are not paved, and some of the areas are prone to flooding if it rains. We hiked down to a waterfall, took a canoe tour of a cave where there was evidence of mayan rituals, climbed two different mayan ruin sites, drove up mountains and through rivers, zip-lined through the jungle, went snorkelling on a barrier reef, played with a friendly sea turtle, went fishing and cooked what we caught, got caught in a rainstorm on a beach. There was definitely no shortage of things to do!
The clinic was in the town of San Ignacio, in the western part of the country. It was a modest size clinic, run by one doctor who is a one-man-show. He does everything from walk-in to family medicine, to paediatrics, maternity/gynaecology, minor surgery. He didn’t quite understand what was happening at first when we went in, but after he read the letter that we brought down, he seemed to figure it out. He was very happy to have received all of the supplies, and assured us that they would all be put to good use! I’ll scan and send you the paperwork he filled out for us. Overall, it was a really lovely experience
My partner and I really like to experience a country when we travel. We want to get to know the local people, eat the local food, and really feel that we were a part of something, not just watching it through a spit-polished tourist version. As such, we want to give back when we can, especially to those less fortunate or privileged than us. We’re not rich, by any means, and we both know what it’s like to go without, when it seems to easy for everyone else to have. And in this case, it’s an easy thing for us to do – to simply take a suitcase down, filled with supplies that could help save lives. It just made sense for us to do so. To give back a bit for the experience we were going to have. To be a part of something.”
– Yehuda and Ashley